A WARD at Colchester General Hospital has been closed after all 11 patients came down with the norovirus bug.

Layer Marney Ward, a medical ward on the Gainsborough Wing which specialises in treating chest complaints, closed to new patients for Monday.

Although the bug usually lasts no longer than 48 hours, the ward will have to be deep cleaned and will not reopen before Monday.

Visitors who have had diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms in the last 48 hours were urged to stay away from the hospital.

Although norovirus cases traditionally peak over the winter, a spokesman said there had been few cases at Colchester General.